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Three Strategic Questions to Consider in 2020


It’s a new year, and your club is brimming with excitement from new and recommitted members resolved to make fitness a reality in 2020. Having a strategy and SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely) goals means a higher chance of success for your business and members. Let’s explore three key questions you should be asking:

What does your club “stand for?”

Which emotions, ideas and associations come to mind when members think of your brand? Branding is more than just your club name and logo — it’s a complete experience that starts as soon as each member walks through the door. Defining how your space engages with its audience is the first step in evaluating your facility design. This helps you decide and prioritize key business decisions, such as what equipment to provide, if a social or communal space is a fit, which merchandise to offer, and even what types of technology to apply and integrate.

What are your staff and member pain points?

To solve areas of friction your staff and members face requires you to first identify and validate their pain points. A false first move (and common mistake) is hoping technology will be a silver bullet to solve every problem. Start with a well-documented journey map that can help you identify and evaluate each and unique interaction point when a member is at the club, both from your staff’s perspective as well as your member’s. Do their goals align? Where is the friction? How could you make the tasks to accomplish these goals simpler or faster for your staff? When you make it easy for your staff to service your members, increased productivity translates to increased member satisfaction.

How will you differentiate your club in the marketplace?

Speaking of differentiation, once you understand the major elements of the member experience, you should also be ready to identify and implement most engaging program options. Beyond personal training, what are some of the latest fitness offerings in functional training and group exercise? What are other ways to get the community engaged? Where do your members go for nutrition advice? What healthcare facilities or employers nearby offer corporate wellness programs? What are your members training for? Having insights into your members’ motivation and options could uncover new services that keeps them engaged and coming back.

How will you implement change?

Whether this change means considering new technology or changing behavior, a well-designed communication plan combined with a succinct way to measure results is the only path to sustainable growth. To ensure your team understands and buys into your new strategy, communicate often with full transparency. What does success look like? Do you have a way of measuring it? Where will the data come from, and will it give you the right insights? Don’t forget to include your members and prospects in your plan as well.

Tom Crist is the director of product marketing for ABC Financial, responsible for go-to-market strategy. ABC is a premier provider of technology and related financial services for the health and fitness industry, renowned for exceptional client service for clubs and their members. He can be reached at tom.crist@abcfinancial.com or 501.515.5000 x 2076.


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